Every time I open up the Bible, I cannot help but notice the number times it commands to love the people around us. We’re told to love our enemies, our neighbors, our spouses and the world alike (Mark 12:31). But while the Bible is pretty crystal clear on relentlessly loving those we come across on a daily basis, it seems that many of us have come to make justifications as to why we don’t need to showcase love the way Jesus intended us to.
I’ve heard everything from, “But, they might think I’m affirming their actions” to “They’re just not a nice person.” And while I understand where these people are trying to come from, it still doesn’t give them the right to withhold love from anyone, let alone those who are broken and in need of it the most. The love of Jesus has no bounds, no limits, and no expectations. It just loves. If you call yourself a Christ follower, then you are called to reflect the same image followed by the same intensity.
You want people to see Jesus when they see you. You want people to find comfort in your presence, forgiveness in your heart and love in your soul. You want people to feel like they can confide in you without being criticized and judged irrationally. You want people to know that your words, even if in opposition of their opinion, will be shared in love.
“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”—1 John 4:8
This isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely an honorable one for all Christians who are willing to pick up their crosses daily. We’re called to love people no matter where they are from, what they’re doing, or how messed up they really are. You can still love people without approving their decisions and/or way of life. You can speak truth but still do it in a loving and compassionate way. How do I know this? Because Jesus did this all throughout scripture.
“If we have got the true love of God shed abroad in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do.”—Dwight L. Moody